Faria Gauges vs. VDO Gauges: Which is Better?

In choosing new gauges for your boat, brand is one of the top factors to consider. Two of the most popular brands for boat gauges are Faria and VDO. So, how do you know which one is right for you? Here's a comparison of Faria gauges vs. VDO gauges to help you make the best decision for your needs.

Faria Gauges vs. VDO Gauges: A Comparison of the Features and Benefits

Faria Gauges vs VDO Gauges

 

Brand

VDO is a German company that has been making gauges for over 100 years. This high-end boat gauge company is known for its high-quality and durable original gauges. VDO can match up with companies such as Livorsi, Autometer, and Gaffrig.

Faria is an American company that has been making gauges for over 60 years. Faria is a leading supplier of factory engine gauges. It’s popular for producing affordable and decent-quality marine gauges.

Versatility

When it comes to versatility, VDO has more options for those wanting a semi-custom look. For example, their Marine line offers 10 different lines, all distinct from one another. This gives you more freedom to mix and match different elements to create a unique look for your boat.

Faria, on the other hand, has a greater variety of styles to choose from. This is especially true if you're looking for something classic or traditional. They offer a wide range of colors and materials, so you're sure to find something that suits your taste.

Design

VDO definitely has the upper hand in terms of design. They are simply clean and sleek without lacking sophistication. Faria's gauges are still decently designed but lack the same level of sophistication as VDO gauges.

Price

VDO gauges are more expensive than Faria, but they are still competitively priced. A basic VDO gauges set will cost about $400-$500.

Faria gauges for boats are less expensive than VDO marine gauges and are a good option if you want to keep the budget low. A basic Faria gauges set will cost about $250- $300.

Faria Gauges

Durability and Value for money

VDO has a reputation for making gauges that last a long time. They're often more expensive than Faria gauges for boats, but they're also more durable. Many people believe that VDO marine gauges are a good investment because they'll likely be the last gauges you ever need to buy.

Faria gauges are less durable than VDO gauges, but they're also less expensive. They often fail more frequently than VDO gauges, but they can be a good option for people who don't want to spend a lot of money on boat gauges.

Ease of wiring

When it comes to installation, both VDO and Faria gauges for boats are pretty plug-and-play. However, Faria gauges are easier to install than VDO marine gauges. This is because Faria gauges require less wiring and come with a more comprehensive installation guide that walks you through the entire process step-by-step.

Warranty

When it comes to the warranty on their products, VDO and Faria differ quite a bit. Faria offers a lifetime warranty on their gauges, while VDO only offers limited warranties that depend on the product.

This means that if you have a problem with a Faria gauge, you can simply return it for a replacement, no questions asked. With VDO, however, you may only be covered for a certain amount of time or for certain types of problems.

Availability

In terms of availability, both VDO marine gauges and Faria gauges for boats are generally easy to find. For VDO, it's because it has a more user-friendly website that makes it easy to find the right gauge for your needs, not to mention the worldwide deliveries. On the other hand, Faria gauges are sold by many popular merchants despite their website not being very intuitive.

Faria After-Market Gauges vs. VDO After-Market Gauges

Faria after-market gauges are less expensive than VDO after-market gauges and there are also plenty of options when it comes to Faria after-market gauges. However, VDO after-market gauges are better quality and last longer.

One thing to note though is that most VDO-labeled after-market gauges are not necessarily made by VDO.

VDO Gauges

What Gauges Should I Have In My Boat?

A boat should have a few different gauges in order to function properly:

  • Tachometer: A tachometer is an important gauge to have in your boat because it measures the engine's working speed and can help prevent engine damage.
  • Speedometer: A speedometer is also important to have so you can monitor your overall boat speed and stay within the legal limit.
  • Boat trim gauge: A boat trim gauge is used to measure the angle of the boat's hull in the water. This helps the boat's operator to keep the vessel level and prevent it from taking on too much water.
  • Water pressure gauge: A water pressure gauge is used to measure the amount of water pressure in the boat's system. This helps to prevent the boat from becoming overloaded and sinking.
  • Temperature gauge: A temperature gauge is important for monitoring the engine coolant water temperature and making sure it does not overheat.
  • Fuel gauge: A fuel gauge is important for monitoring the fuel level in the boat and making sure you have enough fuel for your trip.
  • Voltmeter: A voltmeter is important for monitoring the electrical system in the boat and making sure it is working properly.
  • Oil pressure gauge: An oil pressure gauge is important for monitoring the oil pressure in the boat and making sure the engine is lubricated properly.

FAQs

What Ohms is a VDO fuel gauge?

The VDO fuel gauge is designed to measure the level of resistance in the fuel sender unit. The fuel sender unit is located in the fuel tank and is responsible for sending a signal to the fuel gauge to indicate the level of fuel in the tank. Most VDO fuel gauges have two resistance ranges: 0-90 Ohms and 10-180 Ohms.

How do you measure boat gauges?

To measure boat gauges' size, you will need a tape measure and a ruler or straight edge. Place the straight edge on the top of the gauge, making sure it is level. Measure from the bottom of the gauge to the top of the straight edge, and record this measurement.

Common sizes for the holes needed for boat gauges installation are 2 1⁄16”, 2 ⅝”, 3 ⅜”, and 4 ⅝”. Exact measured sizes across the face and rim will usually be smaller, so just round off.

How do you adjust a Faria tachometer?

If your Faria tachometer is not set to the correct number of poles, it will not accurately reflect the engine speed. To fix this, first find the selector switch. This is usually located on the back of the gauge. Then, turn the switch until the needle is pointing to the correct number of poles of your boat’s alternator.

Conclusion

Faria and VDO are two companies that make good marine gauges for boats. It is up to you as a customer to decide which brand is better for you. If you’re looking for quality, durability, and value for money, VDO marine gauges are the way to go. If you’re for variety, affordability, and a reliable lifetime warranty, Faria gauges for boats will be your best bet.

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